Chile is not an island and, therefore, is not immune to what happens beyond its borders. In a world that is increasingly integrated at multiple levels – not only in commercial matters – it is necessary to act following the great demands of the present, but also of the future, and in a joint manner.
For this reason, Chilean companies cannot ignore their role in this global world and must assume that they have a responsibility towards their environment, not because a law says so, but because they know the value they generate – or the damage they can cause – and focus on long-term strategies, which in the long run will save resources and time because they are adopted gradually and consciously.
It is irrefutable that we live amid a crisis, that the economy is suffering, that the environment is showing the impact we are having on it, that there is social unrest, and that democracies and the rule of law have been weakened, but like any crisis, there are lessons and opportunities to be taken advantage of, and they must start with you.
In this context, the new regulations seek to regulate today’s problems, taking on sustainability challenges and conforming to international standards. Although the experience of other countries may be different or more advanced than ours, it is necessary to look at them strategically, because in the global world, sooner or later, we will have to face them.
One of the new challenges comes from General Rule No. 461 of the Financial Market Commission (CMF), which incorporates sustainability and corporate governance issues in the annual reports of supervised companies. This regulation required extensive research work by the CMF and seeks to put Chile at the level of the most developed economies because let us agree that those economies that we see as an example are the ones that are taking decisive steps in this area. Moreover, its entry into force will be gradual, starting at the end of this year for some entities, and concluding in December 2024.
It is worth bearing in mind that when we talk about a sustainable strategy we are not only talking about the environment and green actions – where many companies are involved – but also about defining who we are and what drives us, based on a solid foundation of values and a clear purpose. If that exists, changes, regulations or requirements are not a burden, but an opportunity and costs are an investment, not an expense.
In this line, the priority of companies should be to aspire to a governance that supports the entire strategy, with a committed board, capable of involving each of its workers, accountable for what is being done, acting with probity, and where the areas do not act as silos, but with a common goal, and then, the social role of the company, which gives value to its environment, is understood.
If meeting these demands is seen as a burden rather than a way to move forward and generate value, then we must analyze where the problem lies, because, in the face of the changes we are experiencing, the worst way to face them will be to remain immobile.
We must be aware that the risks are not the same as before, nor are the solutions, and that the only constant changes. The company that does not understand this will fall further behind those that dared to look at the future as an opportunity and were able to adapt.
By Susana Sierra
Source: La Tercera